We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The universality and popularity of general fitness programs is partly because they have nothing to do with physical talent.
Your genetics do determine many of your physical capabilities at advanced levels, but rarely at ordinary levels. Short people can be fine basketball players, for example - but not at a college level. Long-limbed people can do good bench presses and deadlifts, although not as readily as compact people. Everybody can run, swim, and do bench presses. Most people are physically effective but not blessed with special talents. That is why general fitness is popular - anybody can engage in it.
Besides your physique/physical structure, genes determine your ratio of fast-twitch to slow-twitch muscle fibers, your neuromuscular connections, your brain-neuromuscular responses, eye-hand coordination, your aggressiveness and energy, lung volume, etc.
Not to mention non-genetic factors like drive, training, and practice.
The point I wish to make is that, as with musical talent or intellectual horsepower, everybody has a level at which they can best perform, and few people ever reach those levels. In fitness, your only competitor needs to be yourself from last month.
Of course, we all have varying degrees of competitiveness, but that should never be any obstacle. Not one of our readers will play in the NFL, the NBA, or in the US Open. Or, for that matter, perform in the NYC Ballet.
My advice, to be able to engage in the fullness of life, is to get out and move hard every day with weights, calisthenics, cardio, etc - and to do a lousy job of it if need be because there are no grades. Giving it your all is all that is required.
Sometimes being naturally talented physically does not necessarily advantage you in the long run.
My younger son was very physically coordinated when he was young. For example, when he was a baby, he learned to sit up and walk right away, without wobbling or falling.
Later, in elementary school, he was the natural athlete and talented kid on the youth basketball and little league baseball teams. But because he was naturally talented, he never really practiced. The other less naturally talented kids did; they were the ones that stayed on the courts late shooting baskets or practicing their dribbling. (It's like Michael Jordan becoming the player he did; he said it wasn't natural talent so much as it was practicing shooting those 10,000 extra baskets when he was a kid.)
By about seventh grade, these kids started surpassing him in terms of being chosen on teams and sports. I think my son's ego was hurt and he withdrew from a lot of sports things, telling us he "wasn't interested any more," although he stayed with basketball through high school and still plays in an adult league.
I've come to the conclusion, now that I am in my early sixties, that, like sharks, if you stop moving you die. I've watched too many of my colleagues who lived sedentary lives start getting serious ill or dying of various ailments.
My feeling is, especially since I have a desk job, is that it is critical for me to keep on doing some sort of real exercise. For me, that it still going out and doing a 5 mile run every day if I can. I'm a lot slower than I used to be but I can still do it. I keep on telling myself I should also get off the computer a lot more in my leisure time and do other things like work in the yard or clean up the house, but so far I haven't been very good at that.
Sometime folks I know ask me if I'm worried about having a heart attack and dying during my runs. I say to them that is far preferable to spending the rest of my life in declining health or in a long-term care facility because I didn't take care of myself. Not that that still couldn't happen, but I'm trying to get the odds down at least.
If you don't keep your body in shape, you'll end up like me the last time I went skiing. I couldn't even keep up with the youngest babies in the group, and I thought I was in good shape! I'm invited to go skiing with them again, and I'm either going to be in good shape before I arrive, or I'll just cross country ski at a slower pace on my own and miss out on all the downhill fun. But why miss out on all the fun?
So the Advice Blog suggests that the full living of life revolves around fun, which is self-explanatory. And which apparently dovetails equal parts educating the minions about it with a vaguely traditional moral structuralism interspersed with a nice once-weekly textual religious experience ... when not traveling and eating for pleasure. And (and I quote) looking good naked per a certain, shall we say, evangelical exercise enthusiasm.
I appreciate your clearing up the Maggies Lifestyle philosophical orientation. One should not miss out on all the fun. It's an interesting strain, one admits. Probably some Jesus in there somewhere, along with the spending.
Interesting. A guy who thinks the only reason Jesus ever went fishing with the disciples or attended a wedding reception or had dinner with people was to lecture them.
Kinda denies the full humanity of the savior, does it not?
It's not clear to me that the directive is to become a competitive crossfitter, but it seems to me one will pretty effectively hide their talents if they needlessly let themselves become a fat tub of semi-immobile goo.
I look forward to an exposition of said savior. A talented man of the slopes and acquainted with the shops, as I recall, before that whole unfortunate tortured to death for vacationing over in Ibiza part.
Which is said to actually have happened after he retracted that whole lukewarm and spewing out of mouths thing, which up until that point was kinda demanding and exclusionary, one admits.
So no more denying the full humanity of the savior.